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Johannesburg History Collection SAJM Jewish Digital Archive Project (JDAP)
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Johannesburg History Collection

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The Johannesburg History Collection gathers together a small number of photographs pertaining to various aspects of Jewish life in Johannesburg in the 20th century.

Whenever possible research has been conducted to enrich the information in these collections. If you would like to add any additional information please contact us.

Johannesburg History Photograph Series

The Johannesburg History Series includes images depicting various instances of Jewish life.

To begin with are the Courts, followed by the Cantors and Choirmasters. A large portion of the collection is focused on the Jewish Government School, which later changed its name to I. H. Harris School, as well as the Hebrew High School.

The Beth Din is the Jewish Court of Law. There is an image of the Johannesburg Beth Den in Grafton Road. There is also in image of the interior of the dilapidated Booysens Shul.

The Cantors and Choirmasters Association met on 8 August 1975. It was the opening of the Beit Hachazan. Beit means “house of the father” and hazan means “cantor”. The cantors present were Cantor Moshe Stern, Rabbi O Altshuler, Cantor Soberer and Rev J Chaitowitz.

The Hebrew High School was opened and consecrated in 1911. The old building is now a National Heritage Monument.

The Jewish Government School was a primary school which took in a high percentage of immigrant pupils and trained them for South African living. In 1966 the school changed its name to I. H. Harris School, named after one of their former headmasters. The function of the school remained the same. Many of the images in the collection feature school children in their sports teams, such as soccer, tennis and rugby, as well as standing with their awards.